My Secret Obsession With One Direction
Hi, my name is Chazza Chalrinho and I’m a 19 year old girl with a shameful secret. I’m a One Direction fan. I dance around to their songs with frankly dangerous enthusiasm, and I have to be dragged out of shops occasionally or else I alarm shop assistants by laughing at the band’s merchandise. I am not alone in this. They have nine million likes on Facebook, each band member has roughly 5 or 6 million Twitter followers, and hardly a day goes by without hearing about their latest “scandal” in the media. The fans are called Directioners, comprising mostly teenaged girls. They don’t have a reputation for being the calmest fandom out there by any stretch, but you definitely can’t fault them for dedication. Whilst watching them screaming at One Direction events there’s a striking similarity that has hit many. Maybe we’ve seen this a few times before: Elvis, The Beatles, and The Backstreet Boys. These bands might not be comparable by their music but they are comparable by their droves of screaming teenagers. So what is it that draws young women to boy bands, and is it necessarily a bad thing?
Speaking from my ridiculously biased point of view, One Direction do seem to be the perfect package. They’re just five ordinary, wholesome boys who aren’t afraid to be themselves, combined with good looks and catchy songs. Plus they have access to something that their predecessors didn’t: the internet. Even if you are just a casual user of Twitter, the effect that the band has on the trending topics every time they tweet is noticeable. Twitter allows the fans a new level of closeness with celebrities, and a look at all the behind the scenes and private life action. It’s no wonder that we now thirst for more and more knowledge, even if this sometimes crosses the line.
These boy band crushes that occur so often in young girls can be seen as a practise run for the real relationships in adult life. These crushes let girls play out their romantic fantasies on a safe target, one that comes without the fear of rejection or all the demands of a real relationship. It is a perfectly harmless stage of development, and no different from the horniness of teenage boys over Megan Fox. Girl crushes only become such a hot topic of conversation because they are expressed more publicly and, well, more loudly. We shouldn’t view girl crushes as ‘crazy’ or any less valid just because they’re on boy band members.
There is an outcry in the media that the band’s fans are starting to view them in an increasingly sexual manner: for example, Australian Channel Seven recently had to apologise for signs such as “turn your erection in my direction” being displayed on breakfast television. This is just the tip of the iceberg; who knows what the reaction would be if the media strayed into some of the deep darker corners of tumblr?! God forbid that teenage girls show any sign of their burgeoning sexuality. This sexuality is demonised by society when we are teenagers crushing on boy bands, just as it will be through the entirety of our lives as women. Girls are known to develop and mature faster than boys do, and yet boys are seen to have more agency over their wants and desires. By criticising these young fans for displaying these desires and reacting in an alarmed way, we are basically expressing criticism and disbelief that these desires could possibly be so strong. Girls will always find a way to explore their sexuality, no matter how we try to shield them from it.
99.9% of the time the obsession with boy bands is perfectly safe, and at the end of the day, this band makes me and many others happy, and that’s all that should matter.
Do you like One Direction or have secretly obsessive crushes on other celebrities? Are these crushes harmless or not? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Written by Abigail ‘Chazza’ Chalrinho